I’ve seen a lot of brilliant shows during this years Edinburgh Fringe (Bethany Black: Unwinnable and Sooz Kempner: Super Sonic 90’s Kid being the stand outs) but there is one that has had me questioning myself and where I belong since I saw it which was Dharmander Singh’s show Bollywood and Birmingham to Berlin and Brexit. Although topical in its content it leaves you with so much more than jokes about how rubbish Brexit is, it leaves you with hope of a better and brighter future – or at least how to cope with our shitty one which is something that Bethany Black comments on in her show as well.
Most shows make jokes using Brexit as a punchline, but Dharmander uses it to ask who he is and where he fits in the world which, as I know now, is something I am very concerned about. Who am I? Who the heck am I and how do I find out who I am? Am I Scottish or British? Or Aberdonian perhaps? Do I live in a world where I am proud to be part of my country or am I ashamed? Should I focus on history and heritage or the present day to make my decision? At the end of it, I found 3 things that, in my eyes, define me and I am proud of as I tell everyone I meet.
1. I am a pescetarian (but mostly vegetarian, Tuna is my downfall.) but not for moral reasons.
2. I am a blogger/writer which I never shut up about – sorry.
3. I am a huge fan of comedy. At one point I was even going to run a podcast all about comedy, but got too busy. I may revive it.
That’s all I could come up with. Nothing about race, nothing about where I am from or about the history of my country. I guess it’s never something I have been proud or ashamed off because I have always felt like I didn’t belonged. If you ask me I will say I am from Aberdeen because I was born there and it’s where my family lives, not because I feel a connection to the city, past or present, it’s always part of who I am but it isn’t what defines me.
So I guess I am Scottish according to my passport, and I do love Scotland, but I don’t want to be here forever. I’m only Scottish because I was born here (and I always click Scottish instead of British in forms), I didn’t choose that title and I think that’s the most infuriating thing about it all. None of us choose to be born where we are, we might not like living there, but we stay there, we work, we live our lives and some of us move away. The problem is the restrictions of moving abroad can stop us from moving altogether meaning we’re stuck which doesn’t seem very fair seeing as we were forced in to it. Born in to this shitty political state that tells us to be scared of other countries even when they’re just as bad and let’s be honest, Brexit isn’t going to help anything.
When asking my mum what defines me she said “comfortable being herself not fitting into a category” and this is true. I don’t squeeze myself down to fit some societal stereotype and why should I? I will not change because you think I have a loud laugh, or because you find me annoying I’ll just find new people to bless me with their presence. I am all for people being themselves as long as they aren’t dicks about it. In fact I celebrate people being comfortable enough to share their true selves with me, just like I do with them. I’d rather hang out with someone happy than someone hiding. So be vocal about what you believe in, I mean don’t be racist or homophobic or anything – educate yourself, because it will be the thing that defines you over your race, nationality or looks.